Music of Peter Mennin
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR741     Release Date: 1997-01-01
New York Philharmonic; Dimitri Mitropoulos, Conductor; John Ogdon, piano; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Igor Buketoff, Conductor; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Jean Martinon, Conductor

During the years immediately following World War II, when American composers were generally divided among the nationalist-pupulists, the Romantic traditionalists, and several camps of the avant-garde, Peter Mennin preferred to chart his own course, drawing from the principles and techniques - both old and new - that might serve his personal artistic vision. Born in 1923 in Erie, Pennsylvania, Mennin (who shortened his name from Mennini) began composing before he was seven years old. Independent-minded from the start, he preferred working on his own and later described himself as largely self taught in composition. Entering the Oberlin College Conservatory in 1940, he worked under Normand Lockwood, whose aesthetics he found antithetical to his own. After a year or so he left to join the Air Force.

In 1942, having completed a 45-minute Symphony No. 1, Mennin entered the Eastman School, attracted by its policy of presenting readings of students' orchestral works. There he studied with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson, earning a Ph.D. at the age of 24, despite his self-described role as “renegade.” By this time he had completed two more symphonies. The latter of these, the Symphony No. 3, was Mennin's doctoral dissertation, and was completed on his 23rd birthday. Its first performance, by the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Walter Hendl, took place before the work was actually accepted by the doctoral committee, much to their annoyance. This work and its auspicious premiere quickly brought Mennin to national prominence.

Upon receiving his degree, Mennin was appointed to the composition faculty of the Juilliard School. He remained there until 1958, when he accepted a potion as Director of the Peabody Conservatory, choosing administration instead of teaching which, he felt was a greater drain on his creative energy. In 1962 he became President of the Juilliard School, a position he held until his death in 1983.


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Various Artists

Music of Peter Mennin

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Symphony No. 3: I. Allegro robusto
Peter Mennin
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Symphony No. 3: II. Andante moderato
Peter Mennin
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Symphony No. 3: III. Allegro assai
Peter Mennin
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Piano Concerto: I. Maestoso
Peter Mennin
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Piano Concerto: II. Adagio Religioso
Peter Mennin
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Piano Concerto: III. Allegro Vivace
Peter Mennin
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Symphony No. 7, "Variation Symphony": I. Adagio
Peter Mennin
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Symphony No. 7, "Variation Symphony": II. Allegro
Peter Mennin
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Symphony No. 7, "Variation Symphony": III. Allegro Vivace
Peter Mennin
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Symphony No. 7, "Variation Symphony": IV. Moderato
Peter Mennin
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Symphony No. 7, "Variation Symphony": V. Allegro Vivace
Peter Mennin
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